In recent years, the new wave of super shoes has dominated the running shoe discussion, but it wasn’t long ago that you could only talk (or rather argue) about minimalist shoes. Despite all of the carbon-coated, ultra-springy shoes on the market today, there are still many runners who prefer a barely-there shoe out of shoes.

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The study

The study, published in the Journal of Special Operations Medicine, aimed to provide up-to-date information on the debate between minimalist and conventional shoes. The study looked at 61 trained runners over a period of 26 weeks, 31 of whom wore minimalist and 30 conventional shoes. Each week, the researchers increased the exercise time participants spent in their assigned shoe by five percent to see when the disadvantages of wearing minimalist shoes outweighed the advantages.

The results

After six weeks, runners in the first group spent 35 percent of their total training time in minimalist shoes. At this point, their energy bills were lower and their 5K times were faster than those of the group wearing traditional shoes. However, beyond this point, they saw no further improvement over the group with traditional shoes, but experienced more running-related pain in areas such as knees, shins, calves, and ankles as they ran higher.

Runner feet running - close-up on shoe.

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What does this mean for runners?

These results suggest that runners should limit training in minimalist shoes to 35 percent of their total exercise volume. The researchers also suggest using this type of footwear in situations where you are trying to get optimal performance, such as when you are walking. B. at a race, a fitness test or a time trial.